High Five Killington
Friday, November 25, 2016
Some of my fondest event memories at Mount Snow are the World Cup Mountain Bike races. In the 90's I had the pleasure of helping to organize these events. Many of you will remember those events and the contagious buzz that seemed to blanket the Valley. Planning never stopped - it was yearlong. When one World Cup ended we would start planning for the following year. It took hundreds of volunteers and staff to execute. Our staff, who are ski area experts, morphed into bike coordinators. Our season pass staff would transform the Training Center into a highly efficient registration center. Our ticket supervisor would flip Haystack into a large-scale campground. Our childcare director would organize awards and flowers for hundreds of pro and amateur classes. And the list goes on. It was a lot of work but I believe we all took pride in our "part time" jobs and hosted some of the best bike competitions in the world. Or so I have been told.
With those memories in mind and knowing how much effort it takes to host a World Cup, I have complete respect for Killington. I am positive that making the decision to host the event was probably as hard as actually making enough snow to pull it off. Is the risk worth the gain? Will we be able to make enough snow early season? Will the temps cooperate? What are the consequences if we cannot? Personally, I would have questioned a January World Cup, let alone November. When it was announced, there were plenty of skeptics, myself included. Although I had my doubts, I knew that if they could pull it off, it would be a huge accomplishment not only for their brand but for the entire state of VT.
It is a shame that FIS WC races have already been cancelled in Lake Louise and Val d' Isere but what a testament to Killington's strength and determination to deliver. Congrats to everyone up the road who made it happen. You certainly have earned your title. The Beast, first to open, last to close...way to rise above.